What should I have in the First Aid kit on the boat?
This modification to a standard first aid kit is courtesy of Robert T.
Typical first aid kit, but tweak it for on water use. You are not going to close any wounds on the boat that are not superficial, so I limit the amount of wound closure strips etc that I keep on the boat. Also, I take out about half of the typical band-aids, as they will simply fall off when wet.
I add a few "waterproof" bandages, and add about ten yards of duct tape. Duct tape is your best friend in an emergency. Wilderness First Aid/Medics will always forgo just about anything in their kit for duct tape. Along with a few gauze pads, it makes the only band-aid worth putting on in a marine setting.
That will take care of the simple little things, assuming you buy a decent kit. I put the kit into a Pelican case to keep it perfectly dry.
Now you have to look at the bad stuff, what is likely and what you need to deal with it.
1. Deep lacerations (as in a wakeboard hitting somebody in the head, or somebody getting sliced open by a prop). For that, A bottle of water to start (just keep a bottle of drinking water under the seat along with the kit), then the best thing to use is a few tampons and your duct tape. I keep three tampons in my kit, they are perfect for wound packing. Sounds crazy, but trust me they work great for it.
2. Nasal spray. If you have a seriously bad cut that simply will not stop bleeding and you are more than a few minutes from help, you can soak a tampon with nasal spray and stuff the wound. It will stop the bleeding almost immediately.
3. They are prescription, but I also always keep an Epi-Pen in my kit. The likelihood of somebody going into anaphylactic shock on a boat is high, as bee stings are likely. Ask anyone that has had a sever allergic reaction, you dont have much time. They are easy to come by, just ask around and I bet somebody you know has to keep them around. They replace them after 6 months, but they are usually good to keep for a year or more (until the liquid starts getting cloudy). If you use them without a prescription, you are theoretically opening yourself up to liability but if your kid was on my boat and was dying without it, I can guarantee you that we would make the right decision. Just something to think about.
4. I keep one bag of quick clot, but that's overkill. A lady lost her leg on our lake last year from swimming around a ski boat at night that was running. She almost bled to death, and the hospital parking lot was actually within 200' of where the accident happened (we have a hospital on the lake here). Having a bag of Quic clot is cheap insurance for me, but again its probably overkill.
5. Most important thing....cell phone and a map of the lake.
6. If you are trained, a CPR shield should always be on the boat. I keep one on the keychain. The little cheap one in a nylon pouch is fine. Just in case.
7. I keep a sam splint in the boat too. Cheap, and multipurpose. I used it last year on my son to splint his arm when he broke it on the water. You can also use it to immobilize their neck in the event of a potential spinal injury. The likelihood of a ankle/leg break is high enough in water sports to warrant keeping it on hand. In my opinion.
Some helpful links.